December 31, 2004



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I'm having a little trouble finding a photo that seems a fitting welcome to the New Year. Guess there's nothing like a red berry when you're at a loss . Stretching the photo symbolism, five, and one to grow on -- a seventh in the mist.

I just realized that these berries were probably not growing in the posted direction when found in nature. They do seem to be rushing forward, as is time.

Ta ta 2004
Aloha 2005

All of us here at Dakota Feinstein wish you winter cheer, and a happy and prosperous New Year.

Posted by Dakota at 09:43 AM

December 28, 2004

New trends in magnetism


I'm back

to be
in the loops
of magnetic
yellow ribbons
still exist

on Song
in the air
Dish TV
I'm glued
in horror
to liposuction
and implants
lip , hip and tit

touched down
hours late
thirteen degrees
fifteen inches



Photo note: This was one of the only photos I shot while I was away. Its compromised quality is due to the fact that it was taken in traffic in the pouring rain. I know everyone will want one.

in detail

Posted by Dakota at 06:05 PM

December 22, 2004

Tree with Red Ribbon


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Here it is folks, hot off the camera.

Happy Holidays to anyone who drops by while I'm unplugged.

I would have photoshopped the store front to a lovely forest green, had I the technical capacity. But, then again, the blue does nicely for those of us who are holiday combo multicelebrants .



Posted by Dakota at 05:22 PM

holiday hips


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Just because
it's red
doesn't mean
it's festive

Please manifest


Photonote: My new camera, showing every little wrinkle . One more reason that I don't often take pictures of people.

Posted by Dakota at 02:47 PM

Oh dear, bleak


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I have spent all my bloggish time this morning sifting through my archives trying to locate unpublished ,gay, holiday photos with which to adorn the premises. Sadly this bleak little number was the best I could do among the leftovers . I know I have one with cider and berries and wreaths, saturated to the gills, which I simply can't find.

I am off to the Bardo , by airplane, on Friday. I must remember to take my little nail file out of my backpack, lest it be confiscated (again), though I'm tempted to wear my throwing star pendant, it being Christmas and all. Harassment at airports under the slippery black umbrella of the Patriot Act , may be a new way of teaching lessons to those who disagree with this administration. It's chilling . I am pleased that John Perry Barlow is fighting the good fight for all of us.

Posted by Dakota at 07:13 AM

December 21, 2004

A Nomination


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You probably thought that I was done with politics, given my hemorrhage of disgust , and consequent disengagement from life force energy , before and after the election. However, there are still stones left unturned, and/or I haven't learned my lesson .

Donald Rumsfeld seems to be under fire recently, by Republicans, of all people, though they are practically the only folk left on Capitol Hill with any firing capacity. It is most puzzling . Are some of them waking up? Evidently they have their underwear in a knot because The Other The Donald used his automatic signature machine to sign condolence letters the families of dead GIs. Kind of the thin edge of the wedge as far as I'm concerned, with over 100,000 deaths in Iraq, but if that's what irritates some about Donald Rumsfeld, it will do nicely. W., ever blind , is still singing his praises.

Here's my proposal, if Rumsfeld is ousted as Secretary of Defense, let's appoint him Poet Laureate . He has created some of the creepiest poetry since Edgar Allen Poe . Some samples below, from a piece by Hart Seely at Slate:

"And so Slate has compiled a collection of Rumsfeld's poems, bringing them to a wider public for the first time. The poems that follow are the exact words of the defense secretary, as taken from the official transcripts on the Defense Department Web site.

The Unknown
As we know,
There are known knowns.
There are things we know we know.
We also know
There are known unknowns.
That is to say
We know there are some things
We do not know.
But there are also unknown unknowns,
The ones we don't know
We don't know.

—Feb. 12, 2002, Department of Defense news briefing

Dakota Literary Commentary: Obfuscation extraordinaire. I think here he is referring to the administration's general policy toward in depth research and fact finding. "We" either know it (as in know it all, or, as in receiving messages directly from God) or we aren't particularly interested in finding out (as in stem cell research, or anything else that requires knowledge or thought).

Glass Box
You know, it's the old glass box at the—
At the gas station,
Where you're using those little things
Trying to pick up the prize,
And you can't find it.

And it's all these arms are going down in there,
And so you keep dropping it
And picking it up again and moving it,

Some of you are probably too young to remember those—
Those glass boxes,

But they used to have them
At all the gas stations
When I was a kid.

—Dec. 6, 2001, Department of Defense news briefing

Dakota Literary Commentary: Here The Other The Donald refers to the childhood imagery that underlies his strategic plan for the war in Iraq. I remember those machines well. You did alot of manipulating (with toys, not troops) to no avail.

A Confession
Once in a while,
I'm standing here, doing something.
And I think,
"What in the world am I doing here?"
It's a big surprise.

—May 16, 2001, interview with the New York Times

Dakota Literary Commentary: It's a comfort to know that he has the personal insight to ask the question that we have all asked over and over again. What the fuck IS he doing here????????

You're going to be told lots of things.
You get told things every day that don't happen.

It doesn't seem to bother people, they don't—
It's printed in the press.
The world thinks all these things happen.
They never happened.

Everyone's so eager to get the story
Before in fact the story's there
That the world is constantly being fed
Things that haven't happened.

All I can tell you is,
It hasn't happened.
It's going to happen.

—Feb. 28, 2003, Department of Defense briefing

Dakota Literary Commentary: We knew that all along too. And he's right, it doesn't seem to bother at least half the people in the US of A and a majority of the media. What, pray tell, is going to happen? A reference to the Rapture?

The Digital Revolution
Oh my goodness gracious,
What you can buy off the Internet
In terms of overhead photography!

A trained ape can know an awful lot
Of what is going on in this world,
Just by punching on his mouse
For a relatively modest cost!

—June 9, 2001, following European trip

Dakota Literary Commentary: He should teach his personal trained ape how to punch on his mouse. Maybe the trained ape would learn something. The reference to overhead photography is probably a subtle, but poetic, allusion to the Patriot Act.

The Situation
Things will not be necessarily continuous.
The fact that they are something other than perfectly continuous
Ought not to be characterized as a pause.
There will be some things that people will see.
There will be some things that people won't see.
And life goes on.

—Oct. 12, 2001, Department of Defense news briefing

Dakota Literary Commentary: Tell us what we aren't seeing? Life may go on for you , Donald, but there are over 100,000 people who have experienced a permanent pause, under your leadership.

I think what you'll find,
I think what you'll find is,
Whatever it is we do substantively,
There will be near-perfect clarity
As to what it is.

And it will be known,
And it will be known to the Congress,
And it will be known to you,
Probably before we decide it,
But it will be known.

—Feb. 28, 2003, Department of Defense briefing

Dakota Literary Commentary: Are we talking about Divine Intervention? In my opinion, before we just barge ahead with a plan, someone should know something

And Donald Rumsfeld is not the only artiste in the bunch. Laura Bush has culinary gifts, as evidenced by her collection of holiday recipes .

While I'm at it, so I don't have to think about this administration for at least another week, here's a little something about W.'s Yale club, Skull and Bones .

Photo note: This is an array of rusty May Day baskets .
Photosymbolism for Rumsfeld's poetry. Although the baskets are meant to be beautiful and gay, they are, instead, rusted and contain a message of imminent disaster.

Posted by Dakota at 08:21 AM

December 17, 2004



The following is an assignment from the leader of my ladies group . I had quite allergic reaction during our meeting on Friday. The kind of reaction that is generally only precipitated by a cat on my face. It was suggested that maybe someone is trying to tell me something. I wish she'd send an email.

deep inside
dwells a
wide eyed
hands clenched
across her heart

as if the world
would end with
an audible breath

like a rabbit
or more
like a mirror

reflect back
pretend you aren't

reveal nothing
feel nothing
connect to nothing
live on a postage stamp
do not touch the edge
do not risk annihilation

there is safety inside
but the richness of
living in full self
is lost

So what
what's that
who cares

she cries from the
small tight world
where safety is everything
and fear is all there is

and the trail from
the soma
to the
deep inside child
is treacherous
filled with pain

hidden under
the camoflague
collection of years

few have known
her existence
her resistance
her power
dared to approach

I must stand outside
with compassion
feel her pain
as my own
pay attention
to the little breath
of possibility

the clench
if released
has the power
to connect
with all
there is
after all

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December 16, 2004



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Sometimes, when Christmas shopping, one comes upon items that one finds most appealing, but does not dare to give -- like a zebra or two. A gift such as this cannot easily be tucked away in the back of a closet , like the tiki durmmer ( which came home to roost, as predicted). I just couldn't think of anyone on my list who could appreciate or accomodate a life sized zebra carving.

Maybe if I passed it off as a sacred object. Actually I just found a site , specializing in flower essences that sells a zebra liquid essence, about which is said:

" Zebra - Individuality. The zebra's distinctive stripes serve as a protective camouflage against predators, who are often unable to pick an individual out from the herd. For herd members, the stripe patterns, unique to each zebra, have the opposite effect of helping to identify individual zebras. This power animal thus helps us to both maintain our individuality in group settings and helps us to be supportive members of our communities. A third spiritual meaning for the stripes has to do with the integration of opposites, thus enabling us to see a deeper truth.

Recommended for:

* Those who fear losing their individuality in groups
* The ability to see beyond the apparent division of opposites
* Developing cooperation in community."

A small vial of essence would have been a nice companion gift with the zebra carving. A little zebra essense on the wrist, would definitely make you stand out in a crowd.

Instead of four foot carvings, maybe I'll just make a print of this photo as a gift, and include the zebra essence in the package.

For those of you who haven't finished your Christmas shopping, there are a variety of animal essences available; chimpanzee for playful times, lion for power lunches, elephant for days when one is retaining fluid . Only $12.99 each. Buy a few and smell like a zoo .

Posted by Dakota at 06:55 AM

December 15, 2004

The Chihuahua reappears


This summer there was a brief flurry of chihuahuas in my path -- hadn't seen one since, until Sunday at the Neighborhood Restaurant, which is known for it's photogenic linens and dishes. I had my new camera with me to memorialize the occasion.

In an effort to puff out this entry I googled the sacred meaning of chihuahaus, and came upon the ancient Mayan ritual of Chihua-hente, or "cleansing by chihuahua". A most unpleasant procedure. You will have to read about it for yourself. Suffice it to say that Chihua-hente is not for the faint of heart , and that if you knew anything about it, you would certainly not choose chihuahuas for your china pattern .

Photo note: an example of a close up from my new camera, in focus for reasons unbeknownst to me.

Posted by Dakota at 03:29 PM

December 13, 2004

Of Reeds, Thorns and Staples


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FINALLY, you see above a photo taken with my new camera. Frankly , I don't find this particular picture a vast improvement. It's the close-ups that really reveal the difference, that is, when I can manage one that's in focus.

My $10 manual arrived today. The print is soooo weeny that a person with normal vision would be unable to read it. Fortunately, I am so nearsighted that I can decipher much of what's important. And, irony of ironies, I impaled my middle finger on the infamous staple , while putting the manual back into the envelope. I thought I'd pump that for some symbolic meaning, as follows:

Excerpt from Chapter V, Classes of Fairy Tales at Sacred Texts

"Sleeping Beauty , which is another romantic tale that might claim to be the most popular fairy tale, has for its theme the long sleep of winter and the awakening of spring. The Earth goddess, pricked by winter's dart, falls into a deep sleep from which she is awakened by the Sun who searches far for her. This tale is similar to the Norse Balder and the Greek Persephone . Some of its incidents appear also in The Two Brothers , an Egyptian tale of the Nineteenth Dynasty of Seti II, in which the Hathors who pronounce the fate of the Prince correspond to the wicked old Fairy. The spindle whose prick caused slumber is the arrow that wounded Achilles, the thorn which pricked Siegfried , the mistletoe which wounded Balder, and the poisoned nail of the demon in Surya Bai . In the northern form of the story we find the ivy , which is the one plant that can endure winter's touch. The theme of the long sleep occurs in the mediaeval legend of The Seven Sleepers of Ephesus , in the English The King of England and His Three Sons, poetically as Tennyson has given it in his Day-Dream , and in the Story of Brunhilde , in Siegfried. Here a hedge of flames encircles Brunhilde who is awakened at the touch of Siegfried's magic sword, just as Sleeping Beauty is awakened by the Prince's kiss. The kiss may be a survival of an ancient form of worship of some local goddess. In the Hindu Panch-Rhul Ranee, seven ditches surmounted by seven hedges of spears, surround the heroine. Of the Perrault and Grimm versions of Sleeping Beauty, the Perrault version is long and complex because it contains the minor tale of the cruel stepmother added to the main tale, while the Grimm Briar Rose is a model of structure easily separated into ten leading episodes. Sleeping Beauty appeared in Basile's Pentamerone where there is given the beautiful incident of the baby sucking the spike of flax out of its sleeping mother's fingers. The Perrault version agrees with that of Basile in naming the twins, who are Sun and Moon in the Pentamerone, Day and Dawn."

This is not to mention Androcles and his lion, or all the thorn pricks in Muslim texts which appeared when googled. I could use a little deep sleep , but not a hundred years of it. And the awakening --now there's something to look forward to.

Photo note: It took me most of my blog time to find out the name of these reeds-- Phragmites australis . Like purple loosestrife they are beautiful, ubiquitious, and, because of their invasive nature, considered an ecological threat.

Posted by Dakota at 05:25 PM

Escape to supersaturation


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This is not a photo taken with my new camera . The supersaturated colors, I am told, are considered one of the deficits of my sweet Canon Powershot S40. Funny, that's one of the things that I like best about my old camera. Sometimes it makes things prettier than real life.

I actually chose to see the world that way. Esther Hicks, channeling Abraham, would be proud. My sunglasses, which I wear religiously when I'm outside, are rose colored. Actually the tint comes originally from the manufacturer Serengheti , and is specially mixed for me by my local optician for each new prescription. I can confirm that looking through rose colored glasses actually does make almost everything prettier . The only exception being large expanses of lush green, like salt marshes . I can always remove my sunglasses if I see one of those.

Seeing. I had to take a test the other day to evaluate my peripheral vision, I think. It required me to stare at a dot in the middle of a curved screen and watch flickers of light go on and off all over the screen, like twinkling stars. Each time I saw a twinkle , I was instructed to push a little buzzer . I have a feeling I did not do very well on the test, but I won't find out for awhile. Here's the astonishing thing. I had to concentrate on this activity for seven full minutes . I could hardly sustain my attention for that length of time. I don't have any difficulty listening to others or writing paragraphs, but this was a killer . I can't tell whether this is a life long undiagnosed case of ADD, a new phenomenon developed later in life, or that the task was so boring that everyone struggles with it

Which brings me round to why I'm not using my new camera much. I can only concentrate on the instructions for less than seven minutes at a time. My stapled-together paper instructions haven't arrived either. (What can I expect, it's coming from India). The colors of the photos it takes are real, and look dull to me. I have found the saturation button, but not a convenient way of keeping it on "prettiest"

Photo note: I should have saved this shot for something more ascendent, uplifting. Oh well.

Posted by Dakota at 07:50 AM

December 11, 2004

The Holidays are upon us


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The "holidays" are upon us. At least upon those of us who choose to celebrate within the true spirit of mixed affiliations . The first gala is tomorrow, a Channukah festivity with our Havari . For the first time in years, we have managed to arrange the event sometime within the eight officially designated days. We take pride in our flexibility.

The featured activity, other than eating and drinking, will be a Yankee swap . We consider ourselves Yankees by reason of our geographic location, if nothing else. For my swap contribution, (a $10 limit) I consulted the staff at my favorite emporium, Joie de Vivre who immediately brought forth the swap choice of the year --the tiki drummer who plays something like this when pressed. Knowing the psychology of the Yankee Swap, when you make an unconventional selection, you must be willing to take home what you bring. I have taken home a Buddha Bank and a froggie clock that croaks under just such circumstances. Beats the potholder/calendar combination which will surely appear. I know I will be able to find a more appreciative recipient, should the tiki drummer return to me. My second swap selection is a six pack of Hebrew Genesis Ale, The Chosen Beer. There will be a fight over that one.

Photo note: Weird and haunting, don't you think?

P.S. I am still ridden with viri , my usual resiliance is compromised because I have been undisciplined about doing my yogic breathing .

Posted by Dakota at 07:52 AM

December 08, 2004

December 05, 2004

Healing Adventure #543

Millstone Illusion

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This was going to be the perfect photo for a trial big hole, but, just when I was going to shut up and sweat, I had a healing adventure worthy of comment.

Long ago I think I mentioned that I was going to see Mark Fourman, a practitioner trained by Lansing Gresham , who is the developer of Integrated Awareness . After reading "Ask Anything and Your Body Will Answer" , I thought Integrated Awareness would be a better starting point for beginning movement exploration than Qigong. As you may remember I am a Qigong dropout having had a full-body emotional seizure in response to my most rudimentary attempts. I thought I'd start smaller.

Several weeks ago Mark came back from a training with a new technique called Archimedes Lever . He described its effects. (In his case, awakening happy each morning. Who wouldn't go for that?) and talked about the procedure. While doing? inserting? wielding? the Lever, the practitioner follows the thread of one emotion throughout the client's karmic stream, past present and future, and clears the strands of that emotion that are not needed for This Life's Purpose. Of course I wanted my Archimedes Levering immediately. Shame was my first emotional choice. I did it a couple of days ago.

A team of two is required. Mark and his partner, Rachel, explained to me that treating? removing? clearing? shifting shame might create an inbalance in the tripod of shame, fear and anger. They warned me that I could be fairly angry once shame is released. Okay.

Doing shame, though my first choice, was a hard call for them, since there was alot of activity in my spleen, which indicated that disappointment might be a better emotion with which to begin. They had a short discussion and decided that although my spleen was clouded, it was not turbulant and wily like my pancreas, the seat of shame. I was eager to start with shame, where I felt I would get the most bang for my buck, pervasive as it seems in my being. I really would have been disappointed to do disappointment. And so it was agreed.

Mark stood at my head and Rachel at my feet. I lay on a massage table, fully clothed, I might add for those of you who may be considering this method and still have untreated cosmic shame. They went through a fifteen minute body prep, aligning my brain and spinal column. Their dialog went something like:

M: Can you get C7 when you get a chance?
R: I'll be there as soon as I'm finished with the pancreas.

The back of my left frontal cortex was a little stubborn, but we got the job done.

Then Mark, riding the brain position, told me not to worry about him during this procedure because he was going to be processing alot of this stuff through his body, be assured that he knew how to care for himself. He had, himself, worried about the practitioner who had Levered him. He said I would probably experience very little down there on the table. He was right. Once I saw a live, dull gold scarab and then a small circular cathedral window with a stone pattern, sacred geometry. Wish I could find an accurate picture but it was something like this . Once I felt my vagina contract. That was about it.

As I understood it, from my prone position, Rachel's job was to track my organs and keep me embodied, while Mark rode the brain. They both think that the persistant fascitis in my feet is an unwillingness to be here on earth, grounded -- probably precipitated by childhood dissociation and exacerbated by old age.

And then they began. Mark was doing alot of heavy breathing and mild groaning over my head. Once he said his whole body hurt. As they worked, they checked in with one another about landing locations. I heard them agree to leave the personality for the time being and go up to soul where we made pit stops at levels 9, 10, 11, and 12 as best I can remember. Sometimes someone lingered longer on a level because there was alot of material coming through. I think the material was referred to as "spokes". Suffice it to say that I had about 300 all in all, a goodly portion, but not that unusual.

I asked what had passed by in the spokes. Mark said he couldn't see content. I said, "Like cleaning out your purse?" He said. "Like dumping your purse into a sieve, so that only the larger items stay, and the rest of the detrius flows out." They both said that you don't really get to examine what goes in the trash.

Was it successful? I do feel more empty spaces inside my body today. I always think that's a good thing, more room for the spirit and all. My feet are considerably better. My wings feel properly weighted, so that my shoulders are low and relaxed rather than muffling my ears. So far, I haven't felt the need to visciously attack , with the possible exception of the Olympus Camera Board of Documentation. Nor have I run naked in the glade . Maybe in the spring. Change is slow. I oughta know.

Photo note: This is a millstone, the kind one wears frequently around one's neck.

Posted by Dakota at 08:22 AM

December 03, 2004

Olympus C-7000- attachment disorder

Olympus C-7000

I almost forgot to announce the arrival of a new baby - an Olympus C-7000 . I am having a very difficult time bonding with it. This is the third camera the stork has dropped in my lap in the past month. I gave back a Nikon 8800 for its bulk and lens cap, and a Canon Powershot S70, (which would have been my next logical choice since I'm using an S40 now) for it's complete inability to focus near or far .

There is a possibility that the Olympus C-7000 wll work for me. Ostensibly it is quite a sophisticated instrument. I really wouldn't know, because I can't figure out how to use the damn thing. The paper "manual" looks substantial, but is, unfortunately, written in twelve languages, with three pages of instruction per language. Those three pages get you to the point of using the on/off button. For whatever you might like to know subsequently, and believe me, that is everything, you must go to the Advanced Manual, which is made available on CD, for heavens sake. How the hell are you supposed to haul around a CD with you as a reference. I suppose you can print out all 198 pages onto 8x10 sheets of paper and lug the dissertation-sized, three pound manuscript with you. But then, why buy a teeny tiny camera in the first place? Paper manuscripts crumple all too easily in the abyss of a purse anyway, even if you can unearth a staple big enough to hold the whole thing together.

I decided to call Olympus in India to find out if there was something a little more practical available to the consumer. I was told by my representative that they do print out the manual from the CD as a customer service for a mere $10. It's bit more compact than the one you can print out yourself, since there are four pages per 8x10 sheet of sleazy paper. "Is it bound?" I inquired. "No, but it IS stapled." Those big staples are such a selling point.

As I honed my sarcastic edge and whined more shrilly, (taking out my intense frustration on the oppressed, which I try not to do) I was told that it would simply be too costly to provide a printed Advanced Manual. TOO COSTLY!!!!! We are talking about a $500 piece of equipment here.

Maybe they wouldn't have to print ALL 198 pages in ALL twelve languages. An English version would be a good start. Maybe they could have it printed in bulk in India for a pittance, since they're already outsourcing .

Do not expect to see any photos taken with my unfathomable C-7000 anytime soon. As far as I'm concerned, it came without adequate operating instructions, , and requires an eidetic memory to master its intricacies. As you know, I do not have one of these, and, combined with a split second attention span, I am looking forward to months of frustration.

And I'm probably not finished complaining either. My best fantasy is that I will receive a letter from the public relations department of Olympus, who has happened upon my blog via google, thanking me for my constructive criticism and asking me for my real name and address so that they can send me a complimentary, waterproof, laminated, compact, bound Advanced Manual which they developed at my suggestion. NOW I'm finished. I await it's arrival with eager anticipation .

Photo note: A quick and artless shot to give you an idea of the size of this baby

Posted by Dakota at 04:13 PM

December 01, 2004

Experimental format





how do you like my experiment?

Oops it's not long enough
but most efficient.
I'm off to
lift weights,
ride the chi

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Posted by Dakota at 07:25 PM